Females are prone to becoming obese in early adulthood, owing to the prolonged periods of food insecurity and harsh parenting practices, suggested a study.
According to the study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, food deprivation when combined with other stress factors such as harsh parenting impacts a teen's development.
A new study by the Iowa State University researchers suggests that when these years include prolonged periods of food insecurity coupled with harsh parenting practices, teenage women tend to become obese.
"When females, who are normal weight, in their early adolescence experience food insecurity, something is happening in their bodies," said Brenda Lohman, Professor, the Iowa State University.
In the study, harsh parenting was defined as hostile or aversive physical contact; punishment in response to misbehaviour; or angry, critical, or disapproving behaviour.
"Hardships impact how a youth's parent feels, which then impacts family processes and family dynamics," said Tricia Neppl, assistant professor, the Iowa State University.
Metabolic literature suggests that when a person is deprived of nutrients or proper food on top of experiencing stress factors like harsh parenting, cortisol, which the body releases during stressful situations, may increase; and changes in the endocrine system, essential to the hormone function, can lead to a greater weight gain.